At least 35 new teachers have been added to the education field, according to Chief Education Officer Melena Fontaine.
Before the new school year began on Monday, the new teachers were given extra training on performance as well as their responsibilities in the classroom.
“We also brought in new teachers; we have about thirty-five of them coming in,” Fontaine said. “We have looked at their jobs, what are their rights and responsibilities as teachers. We introduced them to the policies that we expect them to adhere to our expectations in terms of their performance because we are hoping that at the end of the year when the principal conducts an appraisal for them, at least they would be in what we call the meet expectations range.”
She made it clear that the new teachers will be faced with many challenges.
“We recognize that because they are new, they will have challenges, but it’s the job of the principal to give them the support that they need so that they could meet those challenges and so something about it,” she stated.
Fontaine said a four-day workshop was held at the Dominica Grammar School a week before the new school year opened to further prepare teachers.
“We started on Tuesday with an induction for new principals,” she said. “But besides that there are things we want them to know from the very beginning, so that as they go along planning and working to put their schools in a state of readiness, they are aware of the legislation, policies, procedures that should be guiding what it is they are doing at schools.”
She mentioned that the training sessions were organized for different groups of teachers during the workshop.
“Over the past two to three years we have been working on new curriculum for the secondary schools for forms one to three,” Fontaine noted. “So we have been introducing all heads of department and senior teachers to the curriculum so that they make it part of their planning, that when they go back to school they share it with the other teachers their department.”
She stated further that teachers were also were trained in Music, Spanish, French, Health and Family Life Education.